North Dakota Democrat Compares Locked Out Union Workers To Flood Victims
This is all a moot point now as the amendment has failed in committee (the vote was 5 – 16), but it’s still worth pointing out.
Earlier today I wrote about Rep. Lee Kaldor trying to slip a bailout for American Crystal union workers into a bill addressing disaster relief for flood victims. I pointed out in the post that it’s really, really inappropriate to pass legislation this way.
This is a major policy change. It has no place in a special session of the legislature, let alone being snuck into a completely unrelated bill about flood relief.
But Kaldor has a bigger problem. See, per Article IV, Section 13 of the state constitution, his amendment is illegal. “No bill may embrace more than one subject, which must be expressed in its title; but a law violating this provision is invalid only to the extent the subject is not so expressed,” is the specific language.
This means that Kaldor’s bill has to be germane to the legislation he’s adding it to. Which puts Kaldor in the awkward position of trying to argue that union workers, having rejected a contract, are somehow the same as flood victims. Which is an argument he actually tried to make:
As a joint House-Senate committee met to consider that bill today, however, Rep. Jeff Delzer, R-Underwood, questioned the connection with disaster relief.
“I don’t see anything in this bill that makes this germane,” Delzer said.
Kaldor said the bill has a common theme of helping people who have been hurt either by acts of God or by acts of man. “We have issues here that are affecting the entire state of North Dakota. This is really no different,” he said.
I felt it was a little insulting to flood victims that Kaldor would be muddying the water on legislation intended to address their problems by making it about the union workers. But these words rise to a whole new level of offensiveness.
This is shameless, which is probably why Kaldor is taking the lead on it instead of one of the other Democrats. After taking a crony job with the USDA’s Office of Rural Development under Jasper Schneider, Kaldor can’t run for re-election thanks to the Hatch Act.
So he’s gone anyway, and is free to try and jam this legislation through to please the Democrats’ union cronies.Tags: american crystal, lee kaldor, North Dakota News, unions